Highest Volume of Thanksgiving Travelers Expected Since 2005

HYANNIS – If you’re traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, you may be waiting in traffic a little longer this year.

AAA is projecting that nearly 51 million Americans will journey at least 50 miles from home, which is an increase of over 3 percent from last year and the highest volume for the holiday since 2005.

AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs Mary Maguire said travelers coming to or leaving the Cape should time their travel to avoid delays.

“There’s always plenty of information on what the backups are at the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and you really need to be accessing that real-time travel information so that you don’t hit those bridges when there is a five or six mile backup,” Maguire said.

Maguire said it is important to time your trip to avoid hitting the roadways at the same time as everyone else.

AAA predicts Tuesday will be the worst day for holiday travel in Massachusetts, especially between 5:15 and 7:15 p.m.

“No surprise there, historically that has been a very busy time especially on the [Massachusetts Turnpike] and the Cape Cod bridges,” Maguire said.

According to AAA, and INRIX, the worst areas for travel in the state are westbound on the Mass Pike at I-84 in Sturbridge and at Route 122 in Millbury.

Maguire said motorists should also avoid traveling during the late afternoon and evening on Wednesday.

“Leaving early in the morning is always a great idea because we find that is one of the best times to travel,” she said.

“So if you are looking for a quick trip, especially if you have young children who have limited patience for the car, I think that’s a great time to leave, especially because young children often get up early as well.”

Travels should also be prepared for travel with snacks, water, blankets and to know if any passengers are apt to get car sick.

Eighty-nine percent of travelers are expected to journey by car with 8 percent taking to the skies and 3 percent using other means of transportation.

AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists between Tuesday and Sunday. The primary reasons are lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues.

AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by trusted mechanics before traveling.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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